Friday, February 5, 2010

Thrifting is My Drug of Choice

I used to thrift at least once a week. The selection in my town is pretty abysmal, but the nearby town where I work is a treasure trove. The stores are not picked over, and they're way cheaper. Once I got my little bundle of joy, however, I started rushing home after work, which means (you guessed it) no more thrifting. Oh, the sacrifices one makes for doggie parenthood. Yesterday, after a months-long hiatus, I made a quick trip to the thrift store. It felt amazing. I think I had been going through withdrawal. For how little time I spent there, the trip was pretty successful.

THE GOODS:

-Vintage oxfords
-Clark's flats
-Kimchi & Blue lace blouse
-Vintage batwing sweater
-Polka dot blouse
-Ann Taylor blazer
-Oversize sheer blouse
-Vintage high-waist shorts


THE DAMAGE: $24

Not everything fits (I hardly ever try stuff on at thrift stores), but I was definitely happy with what I came away with. I'm sure I'll kick myself for saying this next time I covet something totally unattainable, but I daresay it's better to NOT have a lot of money for buying clothes. Honestly, if I had an unlimited clothing budget or even just a considerable one, I wouldn't know what to buy. When you can choose from anything, how would you decide? And would it hold the same value and meaning to you? I would probably end up buying way too much and appreciating it less. 

When your budget limits you to thrift stores or sale racks, you have to really hunt for the good stuff. It isn't just presented to you on a carefully composed display. And you have to make the most of what you get. That may mean altering items or getting creative with the way you incorporate them into your wardrobe. The feeling I get after a fruitful thrifting trip is way different (and way better) than the remorse or uncertainty that comes with regular retail shopping. I feel accomplished, invigorated and responsible because I didn't spend much and I'm putting old clothes to good use. 

Anyway, Maybe this is just an unhealthy obsession of mine or my way of making myself feel better for not having a lot of money. I realize thrifting isn't fun for everyone, and I also don't want to downplay the importance of sometimes spending more for good quality. How do you guys feel about thriting, shopping on a budget and the prospect of having an unlimited budget?   

55 comments:

shealennon said...

Wow, I'm loving those oxfords! I totally agree with you about having to work twice as hard when you're on a budget. But I think that's where the fun is! I always love your creative looks, and as a fellow Kansan (I'm in Overland Park) I appreciate you bringing some positive fashion attention to our oft-neglected state. Anyway, I'm kind of new to the blog scene (the writing part at least) so if you ever get a chance, check out my blog at http://bonchicbongastronomique.blogspot.com/ Thanks and keep up your inspiring blog :)

Leah Harrison said...

My mom introduced me to thrift store shopping when I was really young. I used to hate it, especially when I was in middle school because I thought it was "uncool". In high school I realized I didn't really care where my clothes came from, as long as I liked them. To this date I still thrift shop. I love the thrill of the hunt and the surprisingly great stuff you can find. You always wonder why people give such good items away!

Any time I'm tempted to buy something brand new, I try to wait a while and see if I can find something similar in a thrift store. Chances are, 99% of the time I'll find it!

Pecs McGee said...

I'm a new follower of your blog, and one of the reasons I was so attracted to it is because I identify with both your fashion and budget sense. You have a knack for putting together great outfits that aren't overdone or too flashy, but are adventurous in their own right. Most importantly, though, I like that all of your unique outfits are remarkably inexpensive. It just goes to show that one does not have to make the big bucks to look chic. I love thrift shopping -- it truly is about the thrill of the hunt, having the patience to wait for just the right item, and finally putting together an outfit you've been dreaming about.

LOVE your blog.

caroline duke said...

well, goodness. you have a pug. pug life forever!

and igby? love it.

our 2 fawns are going to get a black little brother or sister one of these days.

crowdedcloset said...

Love what you found. It ALWAYS pays to be thrifty and pick out what you really like and not just impulse buy.

Have a great weekend!

xo, Kim www.crowded-closet.com

monica burnett said...

That batwing sweater looks pretty magical!

http://monicaburnett.blogspot.com/

Little Ocean Annie said...

I just found an amazing pair of whiskey-brown oxfords at a thrift store for less than $10!! I have been wearing them like crazy, and every time I do, I feel more proud of my find.
My favorite part about thrifting in putting on my headphones, and exploring every rack slowly, imagining who wore those items!
It's also great finding items that aren't massed produced. you'll be wearing something unique, and it didn't take up more of the Earth's resources to make!

Marie said...

Although I don't go thrifting I do find myself shopping the clearance racks lately and i agree with the feeling of getting more for your money. It's addicting buying things far less than retail... and I too wait for it to get even cheaper til I buy. Love what you got, its great seeing the clothes as a purchase then seeing them in an outfit!!

I think if my budget was more i would be in the same boat just shopping clearance racks in more expensive stores. lol

www.fashionofmysoul.blogspot.com

Gracie said...

Wow, I'm in love with everything you found, but the Oxfords are at the top of the list. In fact, I am looking for a brown pair - that's my item of desire this weekend.

If you don't mind me asking, where do go thrifting? I'm in Topeka so I'm very curious.

PS - Love your blog.

Kimberellie said...

"but I daresay it's better to NOT have a lot of money for buying clothes"

I sometimes wonder if I were rich I would probably be buying designer clothes on sale!

You are SO RIGHT! And this is why I totally heart your blog! You get such great deals! And thrifting IS fun! I totally totally love it. I also LOVE getting things on sale!

It DOES force you to be more creative. And yeah, you are so right! It's always a treasure hunt! Anyway, you are so cool. I have the same problem with shopping (a bundle of joy). But it is worth it (whether they have fur or not!!).

I swore there was something else I wanted to say but I can't recall. Getting good deals is a subject very close to my heart. :-)

crispybenfranklin said...

Nice haul! I miss thrifting. I used to live across the street from the greatest Salvation Army. Tons of vintage and crazy cheap prices. Now I live in Vegas where it's nothing by pilling Forever21 tops which cost almost as much as they would new. SIGH!

Katie @ Tinda Keelie said...

i keep telling myself that i'm going to make a day out of checking out other thrift stores in the state, but it never happens. my goodwill is waaay picked over *sigh*

D. said...

I was always hesitant about thrifting because I felt like I never found anything that fit. Then I started looking at the clothes differently. Suddenly, the floor length skirt wasn't a floor length skirt - it was a strapless summer dress. I love how thrifting has helped me tap into a creative outlet.

emilypanda said...

thrifting is a great way to find unique pieces for your wardrobe. i haven't had much time to go since i've been working like 80-100 hours a week for the last couple months, but now that I'm done with my last campaign I'm totally going thrifting!

in addition, what's important is that you don't need to be wealthy, to be stylish or have a fabulous wardrobe. you just need an eye for the pieces that can make your wardrobe.

Kansas Couture said...

I love hearing all of your thoughts on thrifting! Thanks, guys.

Gracie -

Topeka is where I work and thrift! My favorite spot is Maj-R Thrift. If you haven't checked it out, you definitely should!

Beatrice said...

Hello! I think this is my first comment here? I comment on a lot of style blogs, I don't always remember where!

Anyway, I want to say Wow, all lucky finds! Can't wait to see how you work these pieces!

Kayla said...

It's true. Thrifting always leaves a better taste in my mouth than standard retail shopping. There is just something exciting about finding great items for prices much lower than half of their original prices. It's like treasure hunting, and who doesn't love finding the perfect pot of gold?

www.sequinissues.blogspot.com

♥Lola said...

Love this post! It's so true about not having enough money and having to really search for nice things :)

upatreecupatea said...

i am a total thrift junkie too! i always check all my favorite thrift stores before i buy anything.

lovin' those oxfords!

Another's Treasure said...

I love your finds!!!! I feel the same way you do about thrifting- it's so much more satisfying finding cool things at thrift stores than when they're laid out for you at the store! :)

Amanda

isanotherstreasure.blogspot.com

Midwest Mayhem said...

Couldn't have said it better. My mom used to take me and my 3 other siblings thrifting when we were young. I think I'm the only one that it really stuck with though. I don't remember this but recently she told me that she use to say, 'let's see what kind of treasures we can find today'. She'd say that instead of saying...'we can't go to the regular stores because we don't have enough money'. I like the idea of searching for treasures.

Maria Irene said...

I'm loving all thos goodies you find! My mom and I LOVE to go thrifting evry chance we got! there is where you find the coolest stuff and some beautiful treasures too!

Lexie said...

i started thrifting with my grandmother when i was very young ... she lives in a pretty upscale community and the thrift stores always had amazing deals on designer clothes (ok .. not TRUE designer clothes, but stuff like American Eagle and Abercrombie & Fitch).

i'm currently working my way through college, so thrifting has been a means for me to quench my desire for "new" clothes without succumbing to the lure of a credit card. sometimes i get frustrated when i spend an hour or two at a thrift store and only find junk, but when i walk out with something good, i agree with you, it is such a rush!

winniecoop said...

nice haul. it's not always easy to find a good pair of shoes at a thrift store, let alone two! it's definitely more rewarding to shop at thrift stores. it's exciting. like a treasure hunt.

Jen said...

i'm so jealous of all the bloggers out there (including you) that manage to find so many cheap thrifted items that are just absolutely amazing. maybe it's my lack of thrifting experience and my impatience but i can never seem to find anything :P

Emma said...

Some things have an intangible value, and they're often the most special, which is what I experience with excellent sales as well as thrifting. Their value is decided by the individual and that seems to encourage one to be more selective and personalized when as you say, the items aren't carefully displayed for you. And we like people to be creative and unique! But sometimes the 'id' just takes over and you buy that coat (thinking of the topshop sailor jacket!). Anyway, I don't know if I've commented yet but I *really* like your blog! And Igby! x

jsanalak said...

I'm jealous of your thrifting finds, I'm almost tempted to take advantage of my aunt in olathe, KS and visit her. <3

Christina said...

I put myself on a shopping freeze because I was spending too much on retail items. The more I see other bloggers thrifting, the more I want to try it. I agree, with you. I like the hunt of a really great buy, and if I was presented with too many options I would never make a decision.

ejessop said...

I too love the thrill of the find when I thrift, especially at my favorite used clothing store, which has a sell-by-weight section = big pile on the floor of clothing you have to dig through to find things. It's exciting uncovering hidden treasures, and then you end up with outfits that are not carbon copies of what's currently in the fashion magazines/clothing stores.

I also think that thrifting allows me to take more fashion risks. For me, it's not just about uncovering the perfect pieces, it's also about looking at things and seeing the possibilities...and being able to afford to buy something that I like but I think is not quite in my "style"! It's cheap enough that I can play with working it into my wardrobe and not stress if it turns out not to work out for me. Even if I had unlimited money (which I certainly don't!), I suspect I wouldn't reach too far outside my comfort zone in expensive clothing.

closet365 said...

Great haul. I'm fairly new to thrifting, but it gets more and more fun every time. I know what you mean about it being your drug of choice, because I can hardly drive past a Goodwill now without having to stop.

Can't wait to see you use the items!

closet365.wordpress.com

Laura Gerencser said...

I totally agree!! Thrifting is awesome!!!

Patty said...

My parents still fund my shopping, but of course, they don't let me purchase anything I want. Which is exactly how I want it to be, as I like stretching my imagination when it comes to clothes. I look for different ways to style what I already have, I've tried thrifting and I also found a seamstress who can copy just about any style I show her. Having clothes made is great fun, especially since no one will have the exact style that I have.

Light Stealer said...

It looks like you found great stuff!

And you know what..?

The black&white jumper looks like the brother of the one I got this past fall at Williamsburg flea market!

Look: http://lightstealerwear.blogspot.com/2010/01/through-decades-from-lady-toladette.html
or on Weardrobe: http://www.weardrobe.com/pictures/213870-from-ladette-to-lady

Don't you think so?

Chelsea said...

Looks like a very successful thrifting visit. Thanks for sharing! You've inspired me to make a trip to some of my thrift spots.

My Life in Style

Angela said...

As a poor grad student, I loooove thrifting. It's way more exciting than shopping at "new clothes" stores. It's a perfect activity to reward myself after a day of writing, and I find it so relaxing, since it's quiet and no salespeople are up in your face repeatedly asking you if you're finding everything ok. I agree with you--I wouldn't know what to do if I had all the money in the world for clothes.

Thanks for running such a great blog--I've been reading for a while but have never really commented. I love your outfits and that you're NOT from NYC or LA. Thanks for representing middle America so well!

rachel / Red Lips Vintage said...

awesome finds and i totally know the feeling...that's why i love running a vintage store! i buy what i love and sell it to awesome girls worldwide!

THING 1 and THING 2 said...

Can't wait to see outfit posts of these aaamazing finds!! The oxfords are the best, definitely. Are they blue? I couldn't quite tell... Love this site!!

Fabulocity in Amish Country said...

All of those goodies look awesome!!

Bianca said...

I love thrift shopping!!!!
its like treasure hunting.

trina's reality said...

I don't thrift a lot, but it becomes fun when I find something I like.

teri seaglass said...

I have never been thrifting in my life. Well, actually I went to Buffalo Exchange once hoping to find some jewelry... but that doesn't count. I'm not allowed to thrift, actually. But I really want to try because I feel guilty buying a new cotton tshirt when I think of the amount of pesticide sprayed on the cotton plant. I'm still really in the process of getting my mom to allow me to thrift. Any advice?

amanda said...

man you got some good stuff!!! so jealous of those oxfords and the batwing sweater. love love. thrifting is like a drug. can't get enough!

Brooke said...

Wow, you said it perfectly, everything about thrifting and the satsifaction and the imagination that goes into it, I wish I had written this post!

renewvintage.blogspot

Kansas Couture said...

Thanks for your input!

THING 1 - Yes, the oxfords are navy. I can't wait to wear them, but it's snowy right now!

Teri - Why doesn't your mom want you to thrift?

stealthnerd said...

Your thrifting abilities AMAZE me! That's such a good haul!

April said...

WOW what amazing finds! I'm dying to find a pair of oxfords at my thrift store!

teri seaglass said...

Hello!
My mom doesn't want me to thrift because she doesn't feel comfortable with the possibility that the clothing belonged to someone who died. Also, I think she just doesn't feel comfortable with me wearing something that belonged to someone we know nothing about, which some thrifters would probably consider the exact reason they like thrifting!

HadleyEG said...

Hey Katy, I did some shopping today that really reminded me of this post. I feel the very same way about thrifting. I thought I should tell you about the store I just came from. It is an antique shop in Topeka called "Pastense" at Huntoon and Oakley. If you don't know where that is, it's not far from Washburn, just a little west and north. The lady who owns it gets lots of great clothes from estate sales, and they are often quite cheap! And I worry that no one will ever find them! You should check it out!

The Jazzy Belle said...

You are a good thrifter! I love it too. But, I'm not that good at it. I get overwhelmed sometimes and only come away w/ one or two things when I saw like 10 that I like. I need to focus more b/c I really enjoy thrifting and consignment stores.
I also feel you on the having a lot of money thing. I love when I find something I love and I watch for it to go on sale or I save up and get it. It feels good b/c I know I'll love it!! It would be different if I could always afford it though. Anyway,Keep it up. I love to see what new/old things you get. :)

thejazzybelle.blogspot.com

Rea said...

You have a really good mindset toward thrifting, very inspiring even! And I love the look of the bat wing sweater, can't wait to see all of it. It can be hard silouette to pull off but suits your style perfectly.

Bridget said...

i have that kimchi and blue top! very cute :) great blog too.

Amber said...

I must say the duds you came out with on your short shopping day look wonderful. I have never really thrift shopped before, but would really love to get into it. Especially because I don't have much of a clothing budget. I just love you outfits, they are so original. Thanks for sharing

C said...

I like thrifting in theory but have not usually found much.. I did better finding old stuff from my family/boyfriend and adapting it...

Lovers, Saints and Sailors said...

I just commented to The Man last night that blogging would be so much easier if I could buy new things every day! But honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way.
I've grown up with thrifting and resourcefulness ingrained in me and I am proud of my ability to wear the same wardrobe 100 different ways.

Soroor said...

I could never have put it better myself. Yesterday, I went thrift shopping and to F21's sale rack for the first time in 6 MONTHS (!) and walked away feeling invigorated with the treasures I found..